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Operations Manual for the Xoloitzcuintli (Xolitzcuintla) by Amy Fernandez



Amy Fernandez

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Operations Manual for the Chinese Crested

Amy Fernandez

E-book Price USD $4.99

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Revised 2011 version - includes many more pictures.

This fully illustrated e-book provides an excellently written, in depth look at the Chinese Crested, that is ideal for breeders, owners and judges.

This is a revised edition of her earlier print version of the Operations Manual for the Chinese Crested, and has all new pictures.

Amy has owned and bred Chinese Cresteds for 27 years, and has written on them in great depth in both magazines and books. Her prefix is Razzamatazz.



The Hairless Mutation 

Hairlessness is a common spontaneous mutation that occurs randomly in most mammalian species. In this case, it was passed down from the Xoloitzcuintli to the Chinese Crested. Recent research has finally revealed that this mutation results from the insertion of seven letters of genetic code into a gene on chromosome 17. DNA samples from 140 hairless dogs from three breeds, in this study revealed precisely the same mistake in the transcription factor gene. This error turns a coated dog into a hairless. The fact that all three breeds share precisely the same mutation confirms that they are related. Every coated dog in the study lacked the mutation, and every hairless dog possessed one copy. After analyzing DNA samples from 140 hairless dogs and 87 coated dogs from three different breeds, researchers were unable to find a single instance of a matched pair of genes containing this seven letter DNA duplication.

The most accurate and revealing study was conducted by the famed British researcher Dr. Roy Robinson in the 1980s. Based on litter records submitted by British Chinese Crested breeders over several years Robinson concluded that the hairless trait is an autosomal semi dominant mutation.

Essentially this means that a proportion of coated (powderpuff) puppies will be present in every generation. Hairless parents always have the potential to produce powderpuff puppies Every hairless Crested is an obligate heterozygote. Coated parents, on the other hand, do not carry the hairless gene, and cannot transmit it. This also means that the hairless trait can be removed from the breed in one generation by simple selection against it.

Evaluating Skin Type

Hairless: “The skin is soft and smooth… 

Good skin is the product of good genes. Grooming and conditioning can help to improve poor quality skin. But smooth, supple skin with small pores can only be produced through good breeding.

The Crested’s skin should be smooth and close fitting, with fine pores. Thick rough skin can be improved somewhat through good conditioning, but good skin quality is essentially a genetic trait. Coarse, wrinkled skin should be treated as a fault of type as well as condition. Older versions of the Crested standard devoted more emphasis to this. “Supple, smooth, fine grained skin- coarse wrinkly skin to be faulted.” (1962 standard, formulated by the American Hairless Dog Club—the club and registry then keeping records for the breed in the US)

The Chinese Crested standard is specific regarding hair placement. It describes the ideal, naturally occurring hairless pattern. Unfortunately, this natural pattern is disappearing from the breed and the vast majority of Cresteds in the ring are shaved to some extent.

 In part this can be explained as the inherent challenge of simultaneously selecting for hair and no hair on the same dog. But there is no escaping the fact that it is easier to select for profuse hair and remove the excess rather than selectively breeding to maintain a hairless pattern.

 A natural hairless pattern does not present an abrupt demarcation between coated and hairless areas. Even if the pattern has been neatened up the coat will gradually thin out and taper off at the edges. Patterning should not vary drastically from the description in the standard. For instance, a natural tail plume will not extend the entire length of the tail.


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